Sunday, June 14, 2015

Scariest minute of my life...

The scariest moment of my life took place on Tuesday at 7:00 pm...  Grace was eating a snack and Tucker (our 12 year old miniature schnauzer) was following her around in an attempt to sneak  a snack out of her hand as he some times does.  He is such a sweet little guy (he lets Grace do just about anything to him, including sit on him while he's laying down), when he tries to take her snacks it is a very gentle approach; however, Grace gets very upset at him when he does this.  As Grace was eating grapes, Tucker had already tried to nibble a piece out of her hand once, so she was upset and telling him to get away.  She followed me into our master bathroom in an effort to get away from him, but he followed us in there and I assured her that Tucker wouldn't come near her.  I heard her cry and when I looked at her she was bright red, mouth wide open, and silent crying, so I got down to comfort her and as I went to pick her up, her eyes rolled back, she slowly fell backward, stopped breathing, turned blue, and her body went limp.  I scooped her up, her body was like a rag doll, and began screaming for David; it was at that moment that I was convinced she was dead because she was literally lifeless.  David rushed in and began hitting her back, in case she was choking on a grape or something (remember she choked on something a few months back? requiring the Heimlich  :-/ ).  It was about that time that she regained muscle control and started to breathe again.  She cried a bit and was a little clingy after that, but by God's grace she was back to her normal self within about 10-15 minutes.  I had her do every trick I could think of (smile, raise your arms, jump, talk, obey a command, etc) to make sure she was indeed back to her normal self and she passed the test with flying colors.  After paging her pediatrician, she suggested that we take her to the ER because.... because she's Grace and we wanted to have her evaluated to make sure there wasn't anything else going on.  Five of many evidences of God's presence in this situation:

1) The big kids happened to be at my sis-in-law's house the night that this horrifying episode took place (it would have been so traumatic for them to witness).  They were attending a sports camp at her church for a couple nights.  David and I had been looking forward to some date nights (with our sweet tag along in tow...  i.e. Grace); however, Grace the date crasher had other plans :-).

 Reunited again... Grace missed her Tither and Bubba in a big way while they were at Camp Aunt Becca!

***I wrote this on Saturday and unfortunately on Saturday night it happened again, but not nearly as bad as the first time.  This time the culprit was a giant bug on the outside of the widow that Grace was sitting next to in the car (she HATES bugs).  This time Abigail and her friend were in the car with David when it happened.  Abigail tried her best to calm Grace down until David could stop the car and get in the back to help, but when she saw Grace's eyes roll back she got really scared and hid her face so she wouldn't have to see it.  In some ways, I'm glad she was able to see a more mild version happen so that we could talk to the kids more in detail and practice what role they can play to help Grace be safe during a breath holding spell.  I'm really praying that this doesn't become a new "normal."

2) The wait time at our ER can easily be 5-10 hours, however, when we walked up to the ER at about 8:00 pm, David and I wondered for a moment if they were closed because the waiting room, that is usually swarming with people, was completely empty.  We were in a room within 10 minutes of arriving.  That's unheard of (even when we play the high risk heart baby card)!!!

3)  I kept reliving in my head what had happened to Grace and could hardly control random bouts of crying because it was so scary.  Also, I hated to think that we would now have to follow up with neurology to manage seizure activity, etc.  However, with a single Facebook post, I was assured that our Village was standing in the gap for us, praying diligently for favorable results, and once again your prayers became tangible as I felt God's peace sweep over me.
4)  Every Dr. and nurse that interacted with Grace that night in the ER worked hard to win her trust and it worked, she cooperated with all them and had a great attitude about being in a scary place where she knows she is usually poked and messed with.
5)  We were elated to hear that what Grace had experienced was a "breath holding spell", not a seizure (HUGE PRAISES)!  Apparently, this can be triggered by being frightened which is what happened in Grace's case, she was worried that Tucker was coming close to her while she was sitting on the floor eating, so she began crying and sort of hyperventilated.   As they were about to deliver us our discharge paperwork at about 3:00 in the morning, I asked the Dr if he was at all concerned about her oxygen sats being in the low 80's while she was sleeping and that is what caused them to get a chest x-ray and ultimately diagnose her with pneumonia.  Had Grace not made a big statement by turning blue and passing out, we wouldn't have gone to the hospital and received the pneumonia diagnosis as early as we did (at that point the only symptom that she had was a cough).

She broke out...

  In case you have never heard of a breath holding spell (like us), here is the hand out that the hospital gave us about it.  I would especially like to draw your attention to the section titled "Treatment after attacks of breath-holding"...  you are suppose to "give your child a brief hug and go about your business."  Ummmm...  yeah, that's exactly what I did :-/.

EVERY year for the past 4 years the enemy has tried to keep us from going to Pine Cove Family Camp!  Maybe I should put it in my calendar each year, so that we are ready for the attack.  The first year we went to Family Camp we got the diagnosis of Grace's very broken heart two days before leaving.  I didn't want to go because I didn't think that I could slap a pretend smile on my face when my heart was broken inside.  Despite my desire to skip Family Camp all together, we went and to my amazement the families and camp counselors that we met there helped to mend my broken heart by praying over us and encouraging us with God's truth and love.  The next year Grace was just a few months out of her second major open heart surgery, so it seemed CrAzY to take her to Family Camp where I couldn't control the germs and we were still learning what her new "normal" was.  Last year, Grace had parainfluenza 3 which put her in the hospital for 9 days and she discharged just days before we left for Family Camp and this year, well you know the story!  Will you please, please, please pray that the attacks for this year are over and that we will be able to not only attend Family Camp (we leave a week from today), but that we would have a phenomenal, uneventful time?

-in other news...  the kids had their first swim meet this week and they did great!  It was long (5+ hours), HOT, and a blast!

 -We have LOVED watching the Women's World Cup! We especially love to cheer for the short players ;-).

PRAYER REQUESTS:  Grace has an ultrasound on her liver this week to check on a spot that has been there since the liver injury that she sustained at one week old (when her umbilical line migrated and punctured her liver, dumping everything she was receiving intravenously into her liver).  Will you please pray that her liver is completely healed and that God would get all of the glory?  Grace also has her next cardiology appointment this week.  Will you please pray that she does well for the unsedated echo, that the gradient across her mitral valve has not gone up at all and if anything has gone down, and again, that God would be glorified?

THANK YOU, Village for your fervent prayers!  We truly covet them!

This is the story of our lives :-)


Kathy A. said...

I was so desperate to watch some kind of sports yesterday (this time of year without football and college basketball is very sad for me) that I watched SOCCER!!!! The only reason was that the Iowa City West High Trojans were playing for the state championship. They won and guess what the score was - 1-0! I got a lot of housework done during that one.

When I was in Chicago this past week everyone there was very excited about the Black Hawks playing for the Stanley Cup. So yes, desperate again I watched their game last night. I call it "soccer only faster". And a lot more body contact! The score was, wait for it, 2-1!

We have an ongoing "discussion" in our church small group about football vs. soccer. Not many on the soccer side. But then I live in a town where during football Saturdays there's no traffic because everyone is either at the Iowa game or listening to it on TV. I love all of you but you'll never win me over!

So glad God has seen you thru another "Gracie moment".

Love, Aunt Kathy

Julie Wigle said...

Wow! I can't imagine going through that---God is definitely giving you lessons again and again to dance in the rain! I'll be praying that the enemy stays far away as you glorify God through Family Camp. We have had the same experiences when going on mission trips or anything else that may give glory to Him. Love you all! No more breath holding please!!!